Digital Video and the Internet

The web is empowering all of our digital video devices

I'm certain of it. Far from paranoid, in addition to the now commonplace security cameras at the bank that were themselves surreptitiously cloned to convenience store, shopping malls, and amusement parks, I am now regularly observed while driving (, from outer space (, and by any shutterbug with a camera phone (

From Baby Cams masquerading as teddy bears, to unmanned U.S. Predators firing Hellfire missiles, to the continued technological misfortunes of Paris Hilton, digital video and camera technology has grown prevalent enough to make James Bond blush. A true prize from the cold war, our society has become increasingly comfortable with being watched, perhaps if only consoled in the luxury that we too possess the alternative means of becoming watchers ourselves. Indeed, even in our culture抯 oft satisfied urge towards both willing and at times unwilling voyeurism, digital video and camera technology is most conflicted by the dichotomy of intention rather than the nature of the technology itself. As technologies evolve they are publicized for both good and bad uses. Though often the bad is most frequently reported, perhaps a debt to the media is in that such recurrence brings consistent reminder to an eventually accepting collective consciousness. Let's face it, we heard much more about computers being hacked before we accepted the need for firewalls, and now the same too for securing our wireless connections. As consumers start to think more about a given technology an upswing in purchase cycle often coincides that causes manufacturers to respond. Albeit the need for easier firewall and wireless connection configurations or increases in default security settings, it is consumers that drive product development.

Consider the earliest of Logitech QuickCam offerings and X10 pop-up advertising. It is hard to imagine today that these initial product offerings did not include standard feature sets of audio, instant message integration, or software controlled maneuverability.

Yet while even the advent of wireless, motion activation, and telephony uses for digital video gain in popularity, it is the technology of mobility that destines such digital video and camera technology for common use purpose. Therein exactly lies the one dimensionality of generations of video phone theory, arguably from Star Trek view screen origination to today standard Vialta videophone offerings.

Conceptually, we have always thought of digital video and camera technology in passive or active end-to-end communication standards. We either record for posterity, entertainment, or security; or we extend over one hundred years of telephony to put a face to the voice.

Still, though bandwidth has been some concern, society could have chosen more rapid development of the videophone if we saw it as a necessity. Indeed, we have sooner conceived of it as a double edged sword whereas we don't always look as good as we consistently sound and can not imagine in the randomized immediacy of a phone call also taking the time to primp. Surely, as any person who has taken part in video conference calls can attest, their added value is easily considered more corporate trapping or to the consumer market the value-add of digital age long distance relationships than must have.

The fact is, as indicated by the increase in mobility product development, we are increasingly not in any consistent place. We need iPods because we can not otherwise carry our music collection with us. We need cell phones because we have a need to be able to contact one another as we roam. We increasingly use PDAs, Smart Phones, and Blackberries to remain organized and in electronic communication for many of the same reasons. It is even becoming near entirely accepted that we should be able to access our email via internet browser interface from any connection.

The storage that we can carry with us is limiting and our need for static end-to-end communications is reducing. Digital video and cameras in addition to all of our multimedia and applications in turn become greater empowered when web accessible. Exemplary products and services include:

Mobile Monitor ?With Mobile Monitor service subscription and product purchase, users are enabled to remotely access digital video streams of home security camera content via web browser, cell phone, or PDA. Features include unlimited digital snapshot emailing and archiving. $89.99 plus camera costs.

Kodak Gallery - Using the Kodak EasyShare Gallery Mobile Service, users have a depository to download and securely store their photos. Buy prints as you need, share albums to family and friends, and download photos or albums to you mobile phone on demand. $2.99/mo.

Xdrive Haven't signed up for Xdrive yet? Now may be the time. Backup, store, or share your digital video and files; send a fax, or archive your MP3s for remote accessibility from web browser cell phone, or PDA. 5GB - $9.95/mo.

Sling Media Slingbox ?Part Tivo, part TV-tuner, this Best of CES 2005 awarded, next-generation device allows users to view their television programming via any home network or internet connected PC or laptop. Never miss a show again! $249

Just as the Internet itself grew out of Department Of Defense blueprints, let抯 learn again from our atchers? Place does not matter anymore. Digital video and cameras take on a new relevancy when they become Internet accessible. And if you抮e not becoming paranoid yet take a lesson from Leonard ( And remember卼hat teddy bear may be watching you and your watcher could be anywhere.

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